Chinese online gamers to use real names.

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According to People’s Daily, the government is bringing in mandatory registration of real names rather than online aliases. There are also rules in place where service providers must install anti-internet addiction software to control what has been a huge problem in China – the internet. I assume that by registering real names, users can be tracked to the person(go Big Brother!) and their exact internet useage monitored.

The software aims at not limiting use, but rather countering why people are playing – points!

Chinese gaming firms such as NetEase and Shanda Interactive Entertainment have until 15 July to install software which will halve the number of points gamers can score if they play for more than three hours, said the report.

Determined gamers who play for more than five hours will get no points at all and face an on-screen warning that they are entering “unhealthy game time”.

This is actually not very representative of a typical Chinese lan centre. They are considerably darker with a low hanging smoke cloud.

While we were in China, we had to go to several net cafes to send out emails(and well update our other blog). These centres were large dark rooms full to the brim with computers. It was actually quite difficult finding one that was free. It was a wonder that there were in fact any Chinese teens out on the streets. They all appeared to be in these cafes. They would sit there for what seemed like hours on end, getting cheap internet and absorbing themselves in online entertainment – often while chain-smoking cigarettes. They would do things such as play World of Warcraft and other Asian style massively multiplayer games – right down to playing multiplayer card games, what looked like Dance Dance Revolution and some would just kick back and watch movies.

I would assume that most of the people in there didn’t own computers themselves – or if they did, were too poor to own one that ran all the games they wanted to play. I would also assume that back in the homes of the wealthier families, their teens were doing the same thing, except in the comfort of their own homes.

The Chinese Government has a pretty firm grip on the internet, the great firewall of China being somewhat famous these days. It makes you wonder if they’ll ever be able to completely control the internet – something that leads to that dreadful old freedom of speech thing.

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